Friday, March 31, 2006


Maybe I should have played Spinal Tap's Big Bottoms after all. No calls, no letters, no bomb threats. Ah well, maybe somebody learned somthin'. Then again, maybe nobody was listening.

Anyway, my esteemed dude-man Robbie Baier showed up around 3:30 with an armload of CDs and an acoustic guitar, and we just had the best time. At least I did. We listened to stuff he did going back to his early 90's days in Berlin, brought it forward to some stuff from his extraordinary band Melodrome, he played a brandee-new song live, and we listened to a couple songs off his Mom Sibylle Baier's "new" CD. Turns out Robbie's Mom recorded these songs 35 years ago by herself in her room, Robbie just dusted them off, and J Mascis got her a deal with this label down to Athens GA. Her stuff is wild, like a folkie Nico record.... This is the hipper-than-thou record of the year, and it's exceptional. No kidding. Talk about it only in hushed tones. It's' a great record. My goal is to get her to tour. And I wanna be in the band.

Robbie and I could easily have gone on for about 12 more hours, and soon we will.....

We started with all the stuff in the following post, and then we played:

Eilen Jewell,

The Blind Boys of Alabama (feat. Chrissy Hynde and Richard Thompson), In the Bleak Mid-Winter
Robert Palmer, Sailing Shoes, Julia.....

Pearls at Swine, Absolutely Sure
Pearls at Swine, Don't Look Away
Robbie Baier, Whiskey, Whiskey
Melodrome, North Dakota
Robbie Baier, Save The Bell (live world debut!)

Graham Isaacson, Fix You

Sibylle Baier, Tonight
Sibylle Baier, I Lost Something in the Hills

Pre- 03.31.2006

Somebody called the station this week and complained, apparently quite vociferously, about the song "If You Wanna Be Happy" which aired on a show Monday afternoon. Word of the phone call got out and the station's e-mail lists were a-twitter with comments, most of them pretty funny.

People who try to push a viewpoint on others, who try to control and manipulate what others do to fullfil their own agenda, their own world-view, their own sense of propriety, are people I tend to hold beneath contempt. It doesn't matter if they are Islamic mullahs threatening to kill someone for exercising religious choice or some South Berkshire County politically correct knuckleheads worried that a 40 year old pop song is going to corrupt children or (horrors!) upset someone. I can almost excuse the mullahs, though. They were raised that way. They don't know any better.

Puleeze. Listen and laugh and don't think too much. Lighten the hell up. And don't fergit to choogle.

Jimmy Soul, If You Wanna Be Happy
Claude Francois, Si tu Veux Etre Heureux
Kacey Jones, You're The Reason Our Kids are So Ugly
Fiona Apple, Ugly Girl
Danny Kaye, The Ugly Duckling

Richie Valens, Boney Maroney
The Heptones, Fatty Fatty
Antigone Rising, Fat Bottomed Girls
Aqua, Barbie Girl
The Contours, First I Look at the Purse

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Featured a couple of great things downloaded from the ROIO (recordings of indeterminate origin) section of the wonderfully chaotic site : a slice of live Metal Machine Music and some incredible radio commercials from the 60's. Brian Patneaude called in while I was playing the commercials so I cut them short so Brian and I could chat on the air about his gig tonight at Castle Street. I'll have to play more of them in the next couple of weeks.

Original Symptoms, Hey, Nice Vette

Peony Pavilion (Tan Dun), I Once Dreamed
Roxy Music, Re-Make Re-Model
Angelique Kidjo, Voodoo Chile

Lou Reed, Metal Machine Music (live) (3 minute's worth)
Chicago Transit Authority, Psalm 58
The Great Redneck Hope, Pssst.....the Lord Is Awesome
Richard Thompson, Oops, I Did It Again
Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Come On, Do the Jerk

Lucinda Williams, Essence
Chappaquiddick Skyline, Everyone Else is Evolving

Coke Commercials:
Aretha Franklin
The Box Tops
The American Breed
The Supremes
Tom Jones
Ray Charles

Brain Patneaude Quartet, Release
Brian Patneaude Quartet, Unending

Tom Robinson Band, 2-4-6-8 Motorway
Pansy Division, Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other
Beatles, I Call Your Name
Goodnight Nurse, Milkshake
Ivor Cutler, Women of the World

Jack Ingram, Nothing Wrong With That
Buddy Miller, I'm Gonna Be Strong
The Yahoos, Dancing Queen
Terry Adams, Toodlehead

Saturday, March 18, 2006

03.17.06 Hi dee skiddly hmm dee hmm

While hardly anybody else here in GB seemed to notice, it was St. Patrick's Day, fer chissakes. After living in Albany, where SPD is like New Years Eve, the Super Bowl, and your 21st birthday rolled in to one multi-day beer and whiskey sodden mess, it's mighty strange to live in a place where the day is all but ignored. The only big celebration near here that I saw was some high society deal in Lenox that featured ballroom dancing. That is not St. Patrick's Day. That is Lenox, continuing to celebrate "the gilded age", when industrial robber-barons ruled the roost, having gotten fat and rich on the exploitation of Irish labor, among other things.

So we did what we could. I mentioned on the Thursday AM show that I was going to be playing Irish music on Splatto and later that morning I got a call from Dominick, a cool Irish guy who fixes my car, and who runs Autobahn, a garage that fixes German cars on South Main St. He told me that he had hundreds of Irish CDs and MP3s and offered to burn me up some. So a lot of this show is stuff from Dominick. I really like the girl who sings for Dervish. Thanks, man!

I was suffering from a debilitating cold so I mumbled briefly between sets with what voice I had left, let the music fly.

Original Symptoms, Hey, Nice Vette

The Baltimore Consort, The Fiddler's Contemt, The Kerry Star, The Goroum
Iona, Reels
Seven Nations, Amy's Reel, Kelsey's Wee Reel, A Skyedance Reel, Paddy's Leather Breeches, Malts in the Optics, Kelsae Brig

Andy Irvine & Paul Brady, Mary & the Soldier
Lukasa, Latterdys / Crock of Gold
Mick McCauley, Ril Gan Ainm / Shifting Gravel

Eleanor McEvoy with Mary Black, Only a Woman's Heart
Flogging Molly, Don't Let Me Die Still Wonderin'
The Pogues, The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
Enter the Haggis, Gasoline

Danu, The Garsun Who Beat His Father
Patrick Street, The Humours of the King of Balleyhooley
Dervish, There was a Maid in Her Father's Garden
Solas, The Vega Set

The Fureys with Davey Arthur, The Lonesome Boatman
The Fureys with Davey Arthur, The 12th of Never
The Fureys, Green Fields of France

The McKrells, Cula Na Draguin
Hair of the Dog, Some Say the Devil is Dead
Jeff Strange, Matty Groves

Dervish, Midsummer Nights Medley
Bothy Band, Martin Wynne's / The Longford Tinker
Dervish, Red Haired Mary
Altan, There's a Fair Tomorrow

Friday, March 10, 2006


This one was all four-song sets: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Dorky, yes, but it sure was fun. The Judas Priest song lit up the phones! Who knew?

The Morells, That Mellow Saxophone

Ensemble Alcatraz with Kitka, Sen Calar, Cantiga de Santa Maria #380 (13th Century. That's old.)
Brain Patneaude Quartet, Distance
Petra Haden, I Can See For Miles
Robert Johnson, From Four Until Late

Frank Zappa, Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance (1961 inst version)
Tin Hat Trio, The Clandestine Adventures of Ms. Merz
Thin White Robe, Some Velvet Morning
McCoy Tyner and Pharoah Sanders, Blues for Coltrane

Billie Holliday, Swing Brother Swing
Ray Davies, The Tourist
Ron Sexsmith, This is Where I Belong
R.L. Burnside, It's Bad You Know (Sopranos mix)

Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson, My Rifle, My Pony, and Me (from Rio Bravo)
Novillero, The Hypothecist
The Bangles, September Girls
Tony Joe White, Tastes Like Chicken

Reparata and the Delrons with Hash Brown and His Orchestra, I'm Nobody's Baby Now
Shakira, Don't Bother
Judas Priest, Diamonds and Rust
Koko Taylor, Wang Wang Doodle

Oscar Brown, Jr., Hazel's Hips
John B, I've Been Stalking You on MySpace
Betty Lavette, What Condition My Condition
Freddy King, Lonesome Whistle Blues

Savoy Brown, Tell Mama
Sky Smeed, Close and Whispering

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tin Hat Review

I wasn't going to put stuff I write on this blog, but then I figured why not? Here's my review of Tin Hat, from today's edition of Metroland Magazine:

That Was Something

Tin Hat

Club Helsinki, March 4

This was the fourth time that Tin Hat have played Helsinki, and my first time seeing them. I can only plead ignorance for this, and will not ever miss them again, barring a really, really serious act of God.

Classically trained, but lacking any sense of stylistic boundaries and holding a shared vision that toed the line between freedom and madness, Tin Hat just plain dazzled a full house during a two-hour rollercoaster ride of acoustic sound. Most of the audience spent the evening leaning forward, totally sucked in and barely breathing; the room was pin-drop quiet the whole night.

What does one say about a group of musicians who whiz from the likes of Haydn to Phillip Glass to Astor Piazzolla, often in a few bars? Who play two hours of rigorously composed music, interspersed with wild flights of improvisation, with no sheet music, and no perceptible leader? Who play so softly you can often hear your own heart beat, but with the force and deliberateness of a marching band?

Pieces tended to be constructed around Mark Orton’s nylon string guitar; occasionally he would play a dobro, and the sizzle of the slide provided the gutteral swagger of Americana. Ben Goldberg played woodwinds, and mostly the beguilingly sonorous contralto clarinet, adding Eastern European and bop-jazz accents. Goldberg often played in synch with Tom Waits sideman Ara Anderson’s tiny pump organ; Anderson also played percussion, including glockenspiel and tearing and crumpling paper, along with trumpet, with which he changed the colors of the room repeatedly. Anderson used a drum as a resonator/mute for his horn; his various shenanigans made the music extremely tactile, and pleasurably so.

Violinist-fiddler Carla Kihlstedt was the closest thing to a focal point, and she combined conservatory technique and tone with a constant willingness to step outside and use her instrument to punctuate whatever else was going on with guerrilla scratches and swoops.

The group played several new pieces from a soon-to-be recorded disc influenced by the writings and artwork of eccentric Polish artist Bruno Schwarz. One can only hope they get the recording finished quickly and come back to the region. Again and again.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Reasons to Love EBay Part 1

Just got sent this. Going for $25 on EBay right now.
I vaguely remember this gig, it was in the gym so it was real noisy. Noisier.

Being an opening act was great. Short sets, done early.

George Jones always preferred being an opening act, because he could play, then go to his bus and watch TV. Said George: "I'm a TV nut!"

Friday, March 03, 2006


The first Friday two-hour show. Tin Hat showed up at around 4:20 (some idiot had given them bad directions; that would be me) so we chatted it up for 40 minutes. Turns out Mark Orton is a fellow fan of John Gardner!

The Morells, That Mellow Saxophone
The Don Ellis Orchestra, Final Analysis
Thelonious Monk Quartet feat. John Coltrane, Epistrohy

Ray Davies, Run Away from Time
BAP 212 feat Ray Davies, Celluloid Heroes
Los Straightjackets, My Heart Will Go On

Hair of the Dog, Black Velvet Band
Jennifer Warnes feat Leonard Cohen, Joan of Arc

Alejandro Escovedo, Castenets
Tom Jones, She's a Lady

St. Christopher, Say Yes to Everything
Eye Protection, Elroy Jetson
River City Tanlines, Black Knight
The Old Timerz, Schliterbahn

Capital Inicial, O Passeneigo
Screaming Jay Hawkins, I Put a Spell on You
Ana & the Avalanche, Ski Baby Ski

Derek Trucks Band, Soul Serenade/Rasta Man Chant

Tin Hat Trio, Invisible Mobile
Tin Hat Trio, Holday Joel
Tin Hat Trio, Nickel Mountain

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


We've just confirmed that the members of Tin Hat are stopping by the Splatto Festival at around 4:00 PM this Friday, prior to their gig at Helsinki. Go to and click through to the Tin Hat stuff to see more.